Where Sky Meets Sea

Sam Rainer

January 10, 2007

I’m home! Two weeks ago it was simply my house (or more appropriately my townhouse). With my beautiful bride, my new wife Erin, the place is now a home. And I am finding marriage to be such an incredible blessing from the Lord. It has amazed me how natural and beautiful married life is, how two people can become united under God’s great institution. I know my love for Erin will only grow over the next 50 years and beyond.

We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. I wanted to go on a ski trip; she wanted some place warm. So we compromised and went on a cruise to the Caribbean. I had never cruised before, so seeing the ship for the first time I was awestruck how large the boats are. Even though the ship’s size makes for a much smoother ride than say a fishing vessel, the after-effects of the swaying still got to me and Erin. In fact, upon our return we went grocery shopping and swayed our way though the aisles in Kroger. I’m sure the cashier got a laugh out of the way we walked knees-locked through the automatic door as if the ground was shaking below us.

On the boat I had my devotional time on the balcony, overlooking the sea. The smell of salt water and the feel of a warm breeze made for great January weather. The sea appears endless from a cruise ship, reaching as far as the sky and ultimately ending on the horizon. As I finished my prayer time, I could only imagine the way in which earlier sea-farers traveled. I had the creature comforts of a king-sized bed, private bathroom, running water, and the largest cornucopia of food you have ever seen (and ice-sculptures to boot). But the Spanish explorers, the Puritans, and the Apostle Paul all faced a much harsher trip when crossing the seas.

I imagined Peter at Simon the tanner’s house in Joppa, looking out into the sea and seeing the ends of the earth, realizing that God has called him to a global mission, not knowing what would happen or how he would reach where the sky meets the sea. Seeing the vast expanse that was before me, I realized that I too am called on the same global mission, that as a pastor I am to preach the gospel message to all who would hear and to send those willing to go to the far corners of the earth. All of us who claim the name of Jesus Christ are called. The Great Commission is not optional. You will be Christ’s witnesses as the imperative states in Acts 1:8.

Then I began to think about all the times that I had failed this mission, how many times God had placed before me someone who needed to hear about Christ’s amazing grace, and I had remained silent. Just that previous night I had not been obedient. There was a man on the cruise at our table who stated, “It’s all about being a good person” when I asked him about his church and faith. I could have used his response as a prompt into the gospel, but I rationalized that it wasn’t the right timing.

But it’s not about our timing; rather it is God’s timing. And when God places people in our lives, our love for Christ should spill over, so much so that we can’t stop speaking about Jesus Christ, no matter what the circumstance. Yes, tactfulness is a necessity. And whacking someone over the head with a Bible may not be the best method. But in the end, people’s eternities are at stake.

We are all on a mission; we as Christians are all in the same boat. Whether God calls us to the far corners of the earth or our own backyards, our passion for the gospel should be unceasing. The good news is that our mission doesn’t end when we aren’t as obedient as we should be. God doesn’t cut us off after one failure. He wants us to press onward. There could be as many as 250 million people in the United States that don’t know Christ. Globally, the number may reach into the billions. People in every walk of life are in need Jesus.

Churches should weep over these souls. We should pray earnestly for softened hearts and for opportunities to tell the gospel message. And we should be willing to go to where the sky meets the sea in order to share the only Truth that can save a soul.

7 comments on “Where Sky Meets Sea”

  1. Sam, welcome back and congratulations! As long as you continue to “compromise” like you did over the cruise, married life will go very well for you! Also, very nice post. I like the way you write — very evocative. I could see myself with you thinking about Paul. I look forward to more. Chuck

  2. KDB1411 says:

    Though I am delighted that your honeymoon went well, I have been anticipating your return to the blogosphere with great excitement. What amazes me is that I become more motivated to tell others about Christ each time I read a new submission of yours. I am an active blog reader, and your blog is now in my top three most read. Welcome home to you and Erin. She sounds like a great lady.

  3. Sam Rainer says:

    Chuck and KDB1411, thanks so much for the encouraging words. As long as my writing points people to Christ, my goal has been achieved. You’re quite right about Erin; she is incredible. In the words of my good friend A. A. Morella, “Sam you have found such a godly woman. Keep her, cherish her, love her, and you will be one blessed man.” I plan to do just that.

  4. Russ says:

    Sam, I came away from reading this entry both refreshed and encouraged. I am very happy for you and Erin. You are both equally blessed to have each other. God has blessed us both with amazing wives. I look forward to hearing/reading about your future ministry together.

  5. lindy says:


    Welcome back! I hope your “sea legs” have gone away by now. It took me two weeks after first and last cruise to feel like I was on land again. Thanks for sharing about how your personal life intersects with your faith and passion to reach the unreached–how it should be. I’ll look forward to hearing more….

  6. Steven T. says:

    Mr. Rainer,
    Excellent. Just excellent.

    …Welcome back to the web.

  7. kdb1411 says:

    I just read the most recent article by you and Thom Rainer (I think I read elsewhere that he is your father) in the latest print edition of Outreach. Excellent! One question: Why is your photo not included along with his? Never mind, I will ask the folks at Outreach myself.

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